One of four conference field trips, this walk through the spectacular Cataract Gorge on a warm Sunday did not disappoint.
Image: Anna Povey leading the group. © Priscilla Richards
On this enjoyable field trip led by Anna Povey, we got a taste of the wide variety of plants and animals that reside in the Cataract Gorge - not to mention a few species totally unique to the gorge itself.
Images: The spectacular gorge (left) and a rockfield purplepea (right) © Priscilla Richards
Anna pointed out the many hidden treasures of the gorge. We wandered the secret paths and jumped a fence or two to check out some special flora. We stopped by the poolside and Anna told us the story of the time she hopped the rocks to find a rare carnivorous plant.
Images: Spotted! A White's skink (left) and an ocellated skink © Priscilla Richards
Reptile specialist Griffin Piper helped us spot reptiles and told us a little about them while he was at it.
Image: The cohort (left) and Anna Povey (right) © Priscilla Richards
We were also very lucky to have keen birder and all-round guiding legend Cat Davidson from Inala nature tours. She had a wealth of knowledge to share about birds and their calls - she was full of fun facts on flora and fauna and even some plant etymology feminism.
Image: Forest Candles (left) and Mintbush (right) © Priscilla Richards
It was great to bare witness to the results of the work that goes on behind the scenes to protect the variety of native vegetation in this special area. Such work is carried out by Friends of Trevallyn Reserve, the Australian Plant Society and City of Launceston.
It was a group of all ages with some budding young plant biologists with us!
Image: Young Landcarers © Priscilla Richards
We enjoyed a lunch in the gardens (apart from the peacocks...) and topped it off with a walk up to Eagle lookout. We spotted some native violet and some nasty bridal creeper which Anna promptly pulled out her travel trowel and dug out - showing us the thick mat of underground tubers which hosted only a small plant.
Image: Something is on my arm...its a native bee! © Priscilla Richards
A huge thanks to Anna, Griffin, Cat, volunteers and all those that made this field trip possible - it was a great day!
"Cataract Gorge was entirely enjoyable: location, guide, commentary" -Anonymous